Duck and Fletcher Map

 

Beginning in 1938, teams of biologists and other Oklahoma Department of Game and Fish employees embarked on a landmark survey across the entire state. The objective of the survey was not only to document the state’s flora and fauna, but also to determine the condition of Oklahoma’s animals and plants after the state’s worst ecological disaster - the “Dust Bowl.”

The work would span four years and the comprehensive survey results would be published within two products, the first a 144-page book, entitled A Survey of the Game and Furbearing Animals of Oklahoma and secondly, a large colorful map entitled, A Game Type Map of Oklahoma-1943 showing fifteen different ecological regions of the state based upon vegetation types. The co-authors of both the book and the map were Oklahoma Game and Fish Biologists, Lester G. Duck and Jack B. Fletcher.

Assisted by many OGF biologists, game wardens and volunteers, Duck coordinated the survey in the western half of the state from his home in Mooreland, while Fletcher oversaw activities in the eastern part of the state from his home in Stilwell.

 Today, both their book and map are extremely well-know among Oklahoma’s biological scientists working for government agencies and/or colleges or universities. In fact, their book is more commonly know simply as “Duck & Fletcher” and similarly, the map is known as the “Duck & Fletcher Map of Oklahoma.”

For their incredible accuracy, simplicity, beauty and the fact that they were the first of their kind, these two documents are arguably the most important and prolific published works of biological research ever produced in Oklahoma. They continue to serve as a baseline for which ecological changes can be monitored since the 1940s. Additionally for many, Duck and Fletcher’s map and book is not only the first, but also the best recognition of Oklahoma’s incredible biodiversity – the most diverse non-coastal state in the U.S.

 


 

Duck and Fletcher Map